Drugs1 SEIZED DRUGS – File photo of 530 kilos of suspected shabu worth P3.6 billion seized in Mexico, Pampanga in September last year.


June 22, 2024 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 115 views

FIVE Chinese realty traders including Willie Ong face arrest for allegeldy continuing to snub the House anti-drugs panel investigations to shed light on their alleged participation in the shipment of 530 kilos of shabu worth P3.6 billion in Mexico, Pampanga in September last year.

Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, chairman of the House committee on dangerous drugs, on Wednesday said his panel had been very patient with all the invited resource persons and witnesses in the probe against Ong and his associates.

Barbers said the country is now faced with “Chinese personalities posing as Filipinos, bribing their way towards controlling our economy, grabbing our lands, committing various crimes such as money laundering and drug trafficking, controlling our politicians, and sowing disunity among the populace.”

“I would like to make it clear that I’m not espousing Sinophobia here. But to say that this (creeping Chinese invasion) has become a national security concern is an understatement,” he said.

“This committee has been very patient with you but we have certain limitations. Those who were issued subpoenas yet still failed to attend are now being cited in contempt. The necessary warrants will be issued for their arrests in accordance with the Rules of the House,” he said.

“Others not yet cited in contempt are given this last warning. If in the next hearing you will still be absent, we have no choice but to cite you in contempt,” he added.

Barbers explained that under the Philippine Constitution, Congress has the power to investigate in aid of legislation. And to be able to exercise such power, Congress inherently possesses the power to compel attendance of witnesses and resource persons.

“This power carries with it the power of citing any of these persons in contempt should they fail to honor the invitations,” he said.

Ong, with a Chinese name of Cai Qimeng, is co-owner of the Empire 999 Realty Corporation. His associates are also facing arrest.

Based on official records submitted to the House anti-drugs panel by the Land Registration Authority (LRA), the Empire 999 under Ong’s stewardship has managed to obtain, over the years, at least 320 titled prime lots worth several billions of pesos in Central Luzon, Metro Manila and other parts of the country.

The Office of the Solicitor General and the LRA are now working in collaboration with other concerned government agencies to have Ong’s land acquisitions be forfeited in favor of the government.

The lawmaker from Mindanao said earlier that probe conducted by the House anti-drugs panel, including those carried out by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), among others, indicate that Ong and his associates allegedly posed as Filipinos in dealing with various local and national government agencies.

Ong was found by the PSA to have allegedly forged his “late registration” scheme to obtain a birth certificate.

For its part, the DFA is currently facilitating the cancellation of Ong’s Filipino passport for “misdeclaration and false statements, and lying under oath” to allegedly obtain the said travel document.